Cars are as much a part of the American dream as a house with a white picket fence. Over the years, cars have transformed from luxury items to a necessity. Because they’re now so essential to everyday life, it’s no surprise that people buy a car the moment they can.
According to experts, more than 17 million cars are sold in the United States every year. You may have even bought your first car in the past year. But how much do you know about maintaining a car?
Below are five tips and tricks every new car owner should know about to keep their cars in the best condition possible.
1. Know The Cost Of Parts
You should do your research and keep yourself updated on the current cost of car parts, like a Subaru head gasket price or the market rate for a timing belt replacement. Knowing the cost of parts is also essential when for when you’re coming up with a budget for car maintenance.
There are multiple ways you can keep up with the cost of car parts. There are many websites you can check that regularly update their lists of car parts. Or you can join online forums to get the latest news. Finally, you can subscribe to online newsletters or to car magazines.
2. Locate The Closest Auto Centers
Cars can get damaged and require a tune up, despite every precaution you can take and all the maintenance you perform on them. To that end, you should always stay informed on where the nearest car service centers are located. This can save you time for when you need to get your car repaired. Imagine getting engine trouble on the way to work. Rather than spending precious minutes Googling for car centers, you can just call the closest ones.
3. Learn Fluids
Cars need a lot of things to run properly, from fuel to brake fluid, and you’ll need to know the difference between each of these vital fluids if you want to keep your car running smoothly. While you don’t have to know the oil capacity of a Chevy 350 right off the bat, you should at least know the functions of the different fluids you’re supposed to put in the car. For example, wiper fluid may not seem as important as engine coolant, but you might be surprised how hard it is to drive safely without a clean windshield.
You should also learn how often you should check these fluids. For example, you should check oil between two to four weeks, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
4. Listen To Your Vehicle
One skill you should start developing early is learning how to listen to your vehicle. A car is a finely tuned machine and major problems can present themselves as small noises. Does the engine sound a little throaty? Does your car make a grinding sound whenever you turn the wheel? These can all be precursors to larger problems. Weird sounds in your engine can mean that your car is running low on oil. A grinding noise could mean you need to change the gears of your vehicle. Fine tuning your ability to listen to these warning signs will be invaluable in preventing small issues from getting worse and completely wrecking your car.
5. Keep A Toolbox Handy
No driver should ever leave their home without a toolbox in the trunk. While there are all sorts of professionals who can over their assistance on the road, you’ll never know when you can get in trouble far from any car service center. A good car toolbox should have the following items in it:
- Flashlight for working in the dark
- Tire jack for lifting your car during flat tires
- Various screwdrivers
- Tire wrench for removing the bolts on wheels
These are just the basics of what your toolbox should contain. Some things may be specific to your car. If you have a car window that keeps leaking, you may keep a squeegee in case it rains.
Cars are meant to last a long while, but they can be expensive to keep working. Save yourself time and resources by learning maintenance tips. Learning such tips is essential in becoming a good car owner.